During this year where we focus on preaching the Gospel across the Southern Union territory, we have a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of men and women, boys and girls. When Jesus walked this Earth, every encounter He had with those He met was life transforming, and ours can be the same.
In Luke 4:18,19 NKJV, Jesus declared His mission statement:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus came to make people’s lives better. I came across a statement some years ago that I never forgot.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity,” Matthew 8:17.
“The burden of disease, and wretchedness and sin, He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character,” Ministry of Healing, 17.1.
“Varied were the circumstances and needs of those who besought His aid, and none who came to Him went away unhelped. From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and in body and mind and soul men were made whole,” Ministry of Healing, 17.2.
When I was young, I saw the power of the Gospel to change lives firsthand. I grew up in a small church in northern Ohio. Our church had 68 members on the books. One year, the conference sent us a young pastor who was on fire for the Lord. He pitched a tent in a densely populated residential area. I invited the family who lived across the street from the meeting to come and hear my preacher. There were three members in the family — a mother, a teenage daughter, and a father who was a heavy drinker. The mother and daughter came every night; the father did not want anything to do with the meeting. Back in those days, evangelistic series lasted eight weeks.
During the next eight weeks, I watched a curious change. I noticed that for the first week the father left the front door opened so he could hear the sermons. Then, the second week he listened from the front porch. By the last week, he had moved to the last roll of the tent, and when the final appeal was made to give your heart to God and be baptized, he joined his wife and daughter in giving his life to Christ. That man became a great father, a wonderful husband, and a solid member of our Church. The Gospel changed everything for that family. It still has that power today. I encourage you to join us this year in telling the world about Jesus.
Southern Union | May 2019